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  • News Brief

    A controversial examination of biblical scholarship and literalism was named the Jewish Book of the Year. “How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now,” by James Kugel, an emeritus professor of Hebrew literature at Harvard University, earned the Everett Family Foundation honors when the National Jewish Book Council announced its 2007… More ▸

  • Lantos’ Holocaust Experience Suffused His Political Career

    In his 27 years in the U.S. Congress, Rep Tom Lantos had two constituencies — California’s 12th District, encompassing parts of San Francisco and its suburbs, and the ghosts of the Jews who perished in his native Europe. Lantos (D-Calif.) announced his retirement Wednesday, citing a cancer diagnosis. “Routine medical tests have revealed that I… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Five authors of nonfiction books have been selected as finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The award, administered by the Jewish Book Council, includes a $100,000 prize, the largest of its kind in the Jewish literary world. The prize honors an emerging author in the field of Jewish literature who has written… More ▸

  • In a Different Way, Norman Mailer Was a Deeply Jewish Writer

    Jews have never considered Norman Mailer one of their own as they have Bellow, Malamud, the once pariah Roth or even the skeptical Woody Allen. I think they are mistaken. Mailer was a deeply religious writer. Like Hawthorne and Faulkner, he was concerned with God and the Devil, Good and Evil. While not particularly concerned… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Controversial novelist Norman Mailer died at the age of 84. The Pulitzer-Prize winning author died of kidney failure early Saturday in Manhattan. Mailer began his illustrious six-decade career with “The Naked and the Dead,” a semi-autobiographical novel about a 13-man platoon fighting the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. He won the Pulitzer… More ▸

  • News Brief

    French Jews reenacted the ‘Exodus’ ship voyage. Some 300 Jews, most of them French and some of them new immigrants to Israel, docked in Haifa port Thursday after an overnight trip from Cyprus aboard a ship meant to commemorate the legendary “Exodus” of 1947. The original Exodus, which was made famous by a Leon Uris… More ▸

  • Hey, Chabon: En garde

    Michael Chabon had a piece this week in The Telegraph (not my blog, the British newspaper), discussing his discarded plan to name his new book “Jews With Swords.” Bet he wouldn’t mind taking a stab at Alexander Nazaryan, who ripped the book (actual title: “Gentlemen of the Road”) in the Village Voice: Chabon’s heavy-handed Hebrew… More ▸

  • Uzbek Theater Director’s Murder Not Being Seen As Anti-semitism

    A well-known Jewish theater director murdered in Uzbekistan may have been a victim of nationalists or homophobes, a distant relative and Tashkent Jews say, rather than anti-Semitism. Mark Vail, who founded the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent in the mid-1970s when Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union, died after being stabbed and brutally beaten on… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The Pentagon stopped delivery of a proselytizing videogame about the apocalypse after complaints led by a Jewish activist. “Military Religious Freedom,” headed by Mickey Weinstein, a Jewish former Air Force officer, had uncovered a plan by Operation Straight Up, a group that targets U.S. troops for evangelism, to send the “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” game… More ▸

  • Weighing in on Feldman’s Paradox

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, host of “Shalom in the Home” After graduating from Oxford, Noah went to Yale where his observance began to wane. I heard from some of his class mates that he was now dating a non-Jewish girl. Hearing that he was quite serious about her, when his girlfriend came in turn to Oxford… More ▸